What Book is That?

Reading the great reviews for La Belle Mort has been such a pleasure (I'll tell you more about that in a minute). Here's another one posted today -

From the wonderful blog, What Book is That...Probably the biggest standout for me was "La Belle Mort" by Zander Vyne, where a noblewoman sentenced to hang for theft meets a mysterious stranger who teaches her to have faith in the most unorthodox of ways and then ends on the biggest cliffhanger.  It's like Choose Your Own Adventure taken to the extreme.

For a long time, I belonged to a writer's group. Every now and then, I'd post a story only to have someone rip it to shreds - telling me all the reasons it would never sell, was offensive, or just plain wrong. Today, as I sip a glass of wine (red, of course!), and read more reviews by readers who really love what I created, I'm glad I persisted. I'm proud I stuck to my convictions and didn't give up on stories like this one. I can also share with you that I've sold every story someone in that writer's group ever told me wasn't good enough. I guess I really should say thank you to them too! Maybe having something to fight for gave my words more bite.

I am grateful for readers who like it dark, just the way I do, and for editors like Mitzi Szereto who had the vision to give a home to the wonderful, eclectic and literary stories in Red Velvet And Absinthe. Thank you.


  1. And hooray for fellow WRITERS who like it dark too! Most publishers would have blanched at the mere thought of your erotic hangman story.

    There was a time when I honestly didn't think anyone would be interested in my own dark little fantasies. Now the paranormal romance shelves are bursting with stories of blood and fangs and fur. (Tentacles too, I hope.)

  2. Rose,

    Here's to writers, editors, publishers and readers who are willing to go into scary, dark, unfamiliar corners to see what lurks. Bless the ones who are not afraid of what they find (even if it does send shivers down their spines).

    I hope we share pages again, and really do look forward to reading more from you.


  3. Special thanks for your comment on the writer's group. I had a very destructive experience with one. What I needed was guidance, constructive criticism, outside eyes. But their eyes were so far outside that they completely rejected my voice and perspective. As I eventually realized, they were like English bureaucrats passing judgment on a poem written in French.

    AS readers, writers, and editors, we are each very lucky when we meet others who can hear and appreciate our individual voices without thinking we must conform to all the rest.

    I'm SO glad that both your story and this collection is such a big hit!


  4. girl,

    Truth is, I think we scare people.

    Your experience in a writer's group was similar to mine (I have a feeling it may have even been the same one). Over time, I came to realize that while what I wanted was the same as you (to have a place to openly share work and receive helpful input, while helping other people), what a lot of the group wanted was for people to write like they do, and kiss their asses. They circled the wagons around people who conformed, and shunned (or attacked) those who did not.

    But, as in all things, one has choices. I left that group, and found others to work with and learn from (including you!). I've heard some writer's groups are wonderful, so don't want to disparage all of them here. Now, looking back, I can say that I truly do believe fighting against the status quo is what made me take a good hard look at what I do and decide to stick with it. Weird, but true! I am not a bender, or a conformer, and neither are you.

    Today, I am grateful we found one another.


  5. Zander,
    We join writers' groups in hopes of finding criticism we can work with. Crit is the life blood of the editing process. When it is good crit, it is like white lightening, filled with revelation, inspiration. But when it shows people don't get you or the story at all, it can be demoralizing to say the least. Still, even if only one person gets you, when all the others don't, it's worthwhile. I've found you and couldn't be more grateful.


  6. Ricc,

    That's why you and I joined writer's groups. One shoe doesn't necessarily fit all in this case.

    Still, when you find someone who connects with words, characters and stories you've created, it's magic. I think that's what all writers live for.

    Thanks for being someone who gets me,


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